Sounding the Climate Change
by J. Morris Hicks
Just before posting this piece, I saw a
NY Times article
that reinforced my conclusion that "sounding the alarm" might be a very good strategy for truly waking up the world to the horrors of climate change. From the article:
"Why feed the public a too-bleak picture of the future? Why frighten people into action, rather than inspire them? Because sometimes, the worst case is the only thing that prompts us to get anything done."
"Uninhabitable Earth" article opened the door.
Last week, in
BSB # 99
, I featured a controversial article by David Wallace-Wells that appeared in
New York Magazine
on 7-9-17. Turns out it soon became the "most-read" article in the history of the magazine.
In the ensuing ten days, the "alarming" piece, drew heated reactions from all sides of the issue: from climate deniers to people like University of Ottawa climate scientist, Paul Beckwith, who thought the article was far too conservative.
My two favorite pieces (so far) were written by Susan Matthews and Rivka Weinberg, respectively. Ms. Matthews' piece appeared in
Slate on July 10. It is entitled:
"Alarmism is the Argument We Need to Fight Climate Change"
My favorite piece #1. Why to I like it? Because it resonates with what I have been thinking and saying for years:
"Nothing short of a perceived global emergency can influence enough leaders in government, industry and academia to quickly join forces in making the reversal of climate change the entire world's top priority. Then they must work urgently together as if our future as a species depended on their success--because it VERY likely does!"
J. Morris Hicks
Ms. Matthews' began her piece like this:
's David Wallace-Wells has a formidable cover story in the magazine this week...dryly details just how bad things could get due to climate change. The answer? Very, very bad. The timeline? Sooner than you think. The instantly viral piece might be the Silent Spring of our time, except it doesn't uncover shocking new information-it just collects all the terrifying things that were already sitting out there into one extremely terrifying list."
Later in the article, she says:
"As the [Wallace-Wells] piece makes clear, climate change is already killing people, displacing people, making people sick. This is already happening. But it is not propelling us to action. Why not? Well, in America, because almost nothing would compel us to adequate action."
Click here to read her entire piece on Slate.
Favorite piece #2, by Rivka Weinberg, entitled:
Is it unethical to have kids in the era of climate change? A philosophy professor explains
So why do I like this piece? Because the author gently touches on a very delicate question--one that goes right to the heart of the most important decision that many of us will make during our entire lives. Recognizing the importance of the decision-making process, she presents her views in a straightforward, nonjudgmental, manner. She writes:
"In my book, The Risk of a Lifetime, about the ethics that can guide our decisions about procreation, I argue that when we have children, we impose life's risks upon them. Therefore, we ought to consider the nature of those risks in advance, in order to figure out whether they are fair to impose. The implications of climate change for the procreative moral question cannot be ignored.
Given that life is already quite risky, unpredictable, and often utterly miserable, the environmental factor might be a tipping point for the question, "Is life a worthwhile risk?"
After reviewing the many horrible possibilities we're all facing in the years ahead, she closes with this line:
"If you want to have a baby, you'd better fix the world...and, apparently a lot faster than we thought."
The Bottom Line for Me. From 2003 until early 2017, all of my writing and speaking was about promoting our own health and saving our planet by steadily shifting in the direction of a whole food, plant-based diet. Although I knew that we had many other huge "sustainability" issues (overpopulation, overconsumption, and dependence on fossil fuel), I figured that rapidly changing our diet could buy us enough time to fix those other Big 3 sustainability issues.
But I changed my mind (and my focus) earlier this year--primarily because we're running out of time to fix the first three:
As of mid 2017, zero real progress on changing the world's food choices has been made--as the global tonnage of animal-based foods has never been higher. Therefore, it seems crystal clear to me that we must NOW urgently address those other three issues--in order to maximize our chances of saving our ecosystem, our civilization and our species. The title of my current "go to" presentation on that topic seems like a natural to me. I call it:
The Most Important Topic in the History of Humanity
To view all 64 slides
in that presentation, click here. Other upcoming talks include Ithaca, NY, in September, Ontario (Canada) in the Fall, Fort Myers, Florida, in January and Honolulu in April. Finally, please let me know if you'd like for me to make a presentation at a venue near you.
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth
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